Editorial: Solomons nightmare needs our full focus

By Anna Wallis

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Anna Wallis Photo/File
Anna Wallis Photo/File

Looking at the resources that are being pumped into the search for flight MH370 and then at the Solomons situation, there's a part of me that thinks it's time to look after the living.

Of course, I would think differently if a relative of mine was on the flight. And there will be lessons learned that may assist future air travel if the flight is found.

But at the moment it seems a huge number of assets, as they are called these days, has been deployed for what could prove an impossible task.

Australia has said it will take as long as it takes. That time may be coming to an end.

In the Solomons, devastating floods and later an earthquake delivered misery to the Pacific nation. Nearly a quarter of the capital Honiara's population is homeless. Entire communities have been swept away, major access bridges have collapsed and roads have been destroyed. The death toll is 21 but likely to rise.

The Pacific is big, but the Solomons still feel like a neighbour, or certainly on our street.

We have strong links with the country, stretching back to missionaries of the 1800s and the shared experiences of World War II. Many Solomon Islanders have gained an education in New Zealand

And it is not a country that has the resources to easily pick itself up. Prime Minister John Key has said the Solomon Islands Government would be likely to find the disaster response difficult to manage. Australia and New Zealand have sent Hercules aircraft, goods, emergency services personnel and money in disaster relief. Other countries have also responded.

But more will be needed, and it's time our attention swivelled 5000km eastwards with the same laser-like intensity.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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